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View Diary: A Big Win for Solar in California (18 comments)

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  •  What's the catch? (1+ / 0-)
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    Lujane

    The utilities are spending money on fossil fuel, plants and grid that must be re-couped at a profit.

    Solar households want net metering so they can use the grid as a free battery to charge and discharge.

    Non-solar households don't want to be paying more than their current rates; and those of them that can afford it are becoming solar households.

    What in this new bill makes it win win? How will the utilities become more profitable without some consumer paying more?

    (Not meant to bash; just curious.)

    •  Utilities will save on fuel costs n/t (2+ / 0-)
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      Wee Mama, grich01

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:24:27 PM PDT

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    •  This is probably the answer. (4+ / 0-)
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      Just Bob, Lujane, JeffW, Larsstephens
      The fact that the bill also includes provisions that give the California Public Utilities Commission new considerations for rate reform makes it attractive to IOUs.
      From the diary.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:00:16 PM PDT

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      •  Not clear ... (0+ / 0-)

        "Rate reform" means rates are going up or down. Mostly up - since the utilities are happy.

        This means the non-solar customers are going to get screwed more and pay for grid use by the solars?

        Or the solar customers are going pay some kind of charge for net metering?

        •  Or something completely different. (1+ / 0-)
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          JeffW

          Solar power isn't a zero-sum game.  The fact that solar power becomes available in the daytime when demand is greatest means that it saves utilities the cost of fuel to meet that demand.  If the utility was planning to build new coal, natural gas, or nuclear generators, it can also save them the cost of building those new plants.  Because of these cost savings, adding solar power should hold down future rate increases.  Future electric rates can and should be set less on the cost of fuel and new generators, and more on the cost of line maintenance.  

          On the other hand, it's also desirable for electric rates to go up somewhat, especially for heavy users, because that will motivate companies and individuals to install solar power.  I also think it would be fair for net-metering customers to pay a moderate charge for having the connection, something on the order of $5 or $10 per month for a household and more for a commercial account.  Maybe the rule should be that a customer's "solar power out" needs to exceed "power in" by 5% in order to zero out the electric bill.  There will be customers that can't, for one reason or another, generate all their own power, so the utility will always have someone to sell to.  This would be especially true in the western US, where afternoon sunpower could be put onto a HVDC line and sent east to meet the early-evening demand in places where it doesn't happen to be windy that day.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 12:06:24 PM PDT

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